Boston Bruins And New York Rangers Get Into War Of Words


Boston Bruins And New York Rangers Get Into War Of Words Following The Bruins Win On Friday

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 4-3 on Friday to complete their second-straight comeback victory. Usually on the wrong side of a comeback, the Bruins have started finding ways to get back into games, and win them as of late. With time winding down in the game, the Bruins were awarded a very timely power play opportunity which they converted on when Ryan Spooner buried a rebound behind Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist at the 16:14 mark of the third period. The Bruins went on to win the game when David Krejci scored his ninth goal of the season at the 18:17 mark. This game marked a season high-win streak of five games for the Bruins, who now sit in third in the Atlantic division, as well as ninth in the NHL with 27 points. While everything seemingly went well for the Bruins, their win on Friday wasn’t without controversy and critique from the New York Rangers and their head coach Alain Vigneault

Prior to the Bruins tying the game by way of a power play opportunity, the Rangers took the lead by way of a power play opportunity of their own. Brad Marchand was skating past the crease and made contact with the head of Henrik Lundqvist. While Marchand did deserve the penalty, regardless of whether or not he was being forced to stay within such close proximity due to the Rangers defender leaning on him throughout the play, Lundqvist should have also been whistled on an embellishment call.

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  • This sparked much debate from both sides, and Brad Marchand had this to say following the game. “I mean, he must have gotten hit with a cement block the way he went down,” said Marchand. “I didn’t know I was that strong. But it’s tough, it seems like they don’t call goalies on that one. Maybe they should — There’s a lot of that around the league.” Marchand is more than well-aware of the fact that he has a reputation around the league as a pest — leading the team in penalty minutes probably attests to this — and when asked about the possibility of that fact having anything to do with the call, he replied “Probably.” and he continued by saying “But I don’t know….I’m not the ref.”

    Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien backed up his winger when he said “”I was upset when it first happened,” he continued by saying “I think this was the second time — in preseason, Lundqvist did the same thing. I know he does some acting on the side, but I don’t think it needs to be on the ice.” Julien didn’t stop there either. “The referees are there to protect goaltenders, and they should. But goaltenders shouldn’t take advantage of referees. You may think it’s a good play for his team to get a power play, but we’re all trying to get that out of our game. It my guys do that, I’m going to address it. I’m not hypocritical about that. We’re trying to improve our game, here.” As expected, these comments from Julien and Marchand were met with critical responses, the most notable of which however, came from New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault.

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    “The way Hank conducts himself on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets…Who would you rather have as a son: Henrik or Brad Marchand?” Vigneault said on Saturday according to “I mean, for him to say things like that about Hank, it’s totally wrong, and probably Claude Julien is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.” Now it’s entirely possible that Alain Vigneault is still harboring resentment towards Claude Julien, who coached the Bruins to a Stanley Cup win over Vigneault’s then-team the Vancouver Canucks. Vigneault also commented on the hit by Matt Beleskey which ended up breaking the ribs of Rangers’ center Derek Stepan which tie back to the 2011 series between Vigneault’s team and the Bruins.

    “I remember Aaron Rome in this building, 0.6 seconds late, getting suspended four game sin the Stanley Cup Final.” Vigneault of course, was referring to Rome’s dirty hit to the head of then-Bruins’ forward Nathan Horton.

    To compare the Rome hit on Horton to Beleskey’s on Stepan is simply juvenile and petty. While Matt Beleskey may have been a little bit late on his hit, the responsibility is on Derek Stepan to protect himself at all times on the ice, even after making a pass. Pierre McGuire at the time of the play, immediately put the onus on Derek Stepan. “What’s the old saying? ‘Don’t admire your pass’. Derek Stepan didn’t protect himself after he moved the puck and Beleskey took advantage of it and then McIlrath jumped in” Pierre McGuire repeated those sentiments after the game as well, when he was given more time to review the play.

    The Aaron Rome hit on Nathan Horton was clearly directed at Horton’s head in the middle of the ice. While the degree of lateness is similar to that of Matt Beleskey’s, it should be noted that Aaron Rome left his feet, and the primary point of contact was the head on a defenseless player. Matt Beleskey never left his feet, the primary point of contact was the shoulder of Stepan, who could have easily braced himself for the hit had he not looked down ice at the pass for so long. Beleskey’s hit was not even close to being hit from behind, and it’s hard to find anything wrong with the hit other than being slightly later than it should have.

    Follow Brandon Share-Cohen on Twitter @BShareCohen to discuss all things Bruins and sports

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